Installing Windows into a different folder

When you installed Windows 2000 you got the option of either accepting the default location for installing system files (the \Windows directory) or specifying a different folder to install Windows into. When you install Windows Server 2003 however, the Setup routine doesn’t display the option of specifying the folder name. So how can you install Windows Server 2003 into a folder other than \Windows? Two ways. First, you can do it using unattended setup as there’s a setting you can configure there to specify the installation directory. And second, if you already have your target disk drive formatted using NTFS, you can create an empty \Windows directory on it, and then when Setup runs it detects the \Windows directory, assumes some version of Windows is installed there, and prompts you to specify a different installation folder.


Mitch Tulloch was lead author for the Windows Vista Resource Kit from Microsoft Press, which is THE book for IT pros who want to deploy, maintain and support Windows Vista in mid- and large-sized network environments. For more information see

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Scroll to Top